It's now close to three years after Yego Innovision Ltd, a Rwandan ICT solutions company, began operation in Rwanda in September 2017.
The company at first introduced the ICFM (Intelligent Connected Fare Meters) under the brand “Yegomoto” as a proof of concept on Moto Taxis 2017, before introducing the Meters on Yegocabs for Taxi- Cabs in 2018.
According to the CEO of Yego Innovision, Karanvir Singh, the idea of putting a “Meter” on a Motorcycle was born from trying to address the various challenges that were prevalent in the Taxi-Moto Transport sector, especially on the Taxi-Motos then. They say the “Necessity is the Mother of invention” and this could not have been more true in the case of Yegomoto.
"When I came for Transform Africa in 2015, I was privileged to meet different top officials who told me that they needed a technology-based solution to address the challenges that were being faced in the Taxi-Moto Transport Sector. We conducted an in-depth market survey that lasted just over 9 months and that is how we came up with a concept of putting a Meter and GPS on every Taxi-Moto and not just another App" he told The New Times.
The challenges, he said, included the theft of motorbikes, cash payments that hindered the country's vision of becoming a cashless economy, non-licensed drivers, no standardised fare which resulted in wastage of time in bargaining and many others.
"By putting a Meter on the Taxi-Moto, Yegomoto was able to provide a solution for all those problems and would also help the authorities to monitor the motorcyclists behaviour with our Platform" he added.
To achieve this, Yego Innovision introduced the concept of Meters that help automatically calculate the Fare based on the distance travelled and enabled cashless payments by tapping a NFC Card. They also installed a GPS in the motorbike to locate it, even in case of theft.
“Our need to ensure that our Driver Partners have a better future, have an option to start another business or buy a new vehicle; made sure that our Platform would automatically generate credit scores.
Last month for the first time in the history of Rwanda you saw three Taxi Cab Drivers buy Zero Kilometre cars. This was only possible because the Bank of Kigali analysed all the credit data from the Drivers and was able to provide them with loans.” Singh added.
According to Singh “From the outside we may look like just like any other ICT venture, but as a company our core values and philosophy are very different. Everything, we do is driven by the impact we will have on the lives of others, not just on our Partner Driver and Passengers but on the society at large.
Once we are clear about our purpose and the good that we will bring to the country, then and only then do we look at the aspect of making money. We believe firmly in a double bottom line, we are completely transparent and accountable.
How many companies in the world build a platform that shows every activity including the money earned on every ride and in real-time? We designed our platform like this because we have nothing to hide and never will.”
Challenges and future plans
According to Singh, So far Yego has 1,140 Taxi-cabs and 4,376 Taxi-Motos equipped with an ICFM.
Yego Innovision has plans to install 20,000 meters on Taxi-Motos, but the Bank understandably wants to first see the revenue coming in, before they disburse further tranches.
Now that Rwanda Utilities and Regulatory Authority had announced that the use of Meters is Mandatory, Singh is confident that he will quickly be able to install the 20,000 Meters.
He also noted that that there are 40,000 – 45,000 Moto Taxis upcountry and he intends to work closely with the stakeholders to install Meters on those Moto Taxis as well in the coming months.
Singh also mentioned; “While the last 5 months have been difficult, the productivity of the development team has never been better. We have used this time to build an eCommerce Platform that will allow virtually every establishment from the very small to the very large to have a storefront on the platform. This would have a huge pull-up, not just in Kigali, but on businesses across the country.”
“Yego Innovision is ready for expansion and has already established a company in Kenya and is just waiting for the Covid-19 situation to improve a little, before launching operations there” Singh said
In a bid to digitise the transport sector and avoid the further spread of Covid-19 in the country, Rwanda has made it mandatory for all Taxi-Motos to have Smart Meters with effect from Saturday, August 15, 2020.Follow lavie250